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Category Archives: Grand plans and aid targets

The Negative Highway

UPDATE 1:30PM: More “Breezewood”s! See end of post UPDATE 11:15am March 9: the Negative Subway (see end of post) I used to drive often from Washington DC to Ohio and would pass fuming through  Breezewood PA, victim of a hijacking. Where there should have been a simple interchange of Interstates 70 and 76, the locals had[.....]

Also posted in Field notes, Organizational behavior | Tagged , , , | 23 Comments

The Answer

….that no single key, no formula can, in principle, solve the problems of individuals or societies; that general solutions are not solutions, universal ends are never real ends…. …that liberty–of actual individuals, in specific times and places–is an absolute value; that a minimum area of free action is a moral necessity for all men, not[.....]

Also posted in Big ideas, Entrepreneurship | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

QDDR: we can hardly contain our excitement

Aid Watch is as excited as everyone else to get a leaked, advance summary of the Quadrennial Development and Diplomacy Review, (HT Josh Rogin at Foreign Policy) which is a critical part of the US government process to set its priorities  on Development. We love to seize occasions where we can be more positive to reward positive things[.....]

Also posted in Aid policies and approaches, Maps, Military aid | 14 Comments

Eyes Wide Shut: Philanthropy Action on the “Rescheduled” Sachs vs. Clemens/Demombynes debate

Tim Ogden at Philanthropy Action issues a petition for the “rescheduled” (quotes in original) Sachs vs. Clemens/Demombynes debate on evaluating Millennium Villages, which was supposed to happen last Wednesday, to be indeed, well, rescheduled. He asks for all of us to be watching whether this indeed happens. Aid Watch is always in favor of more Watching, so[.....]

Also posted in Aid debates, Aid policies and approaches, In the news | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Millennium Villages: Moving the goalposts

Here on the blog, we’ve been following the progress of the Millennium Villages Project, a joint effort from the UN and Columbia’s Earth Institute that has introduced a package of development interventions in health, education, agriculture and infrastructure into 14 “clusters” of villages throughout 10 African countries. In response to a critical paper by Michael[.....]

Also posted in Metrics and evaluation | Tagged , | 6 Comments

How Sweden is off-track on the Millennium Development Goals

…and other mysteries, all explained by data guru Hans Rosling in this don’t-miss Ted talk:

Also posted in Data and statistics, Global health | 5 Comments

And now going for the Aid Watch record on global charity cluelessness…

Aid Watch received the following tidbit from a trusted source. It was posted on a community list-serve: Does anyone have any old men’s size  8.5-9.0 sneakers they would like to get rid of? Like, lawnmowing sneakers, that sort of thing?  I’m running a mud race on Sunday and at the end the muddy destroyed sneakers will be[.....]

Also posted in Big ideas | 12 Comments

The Millennium Development What?

This is a joint post written with Claudia Williamson, a post-doctoral fellow at DRI. If you’re reading this blog, and especially if you’re in New York City right now, you’re probably familiar with the Millennium Development Goals. Besides being the focus of this week’s United Nations summit, they are just (according to the UN) “the[.....]

10 Comments

Be careful what you export

Our distant ancestors had a biological constitution awfully similar to our own, and, like us, only 24 hours in a day. Arguably the main reason we have so much better lives than them is that we have better ways of doing things (broadly conceived). So it makes a great deal of sense that much of[.....]

Also posted in Big ideas, Trade | 13 Comments

Constructivist cartography

The development blogosphere recently lit up with news of South Sudan’s plan to rebuild some of its urban centers in the shape of various animals. The plan elicited no shortage of guffaws, as is appropriate. But in the interest of maintaining AidWatch’s contrarian reputation, this post argues that we should be careful about focusing our[.....]

Also posted in In the news, Maps | Tagged | 7 Comments
  • About Aid Watch

    The Aid Watch blog is a project of New York University's Development Research Institute (DRI). This blog is principally written by William Easterly, author of "The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics" and "The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good," and Professor of Economics at NYU. It is co-written by Laura Freschi and by occasional guest bloggers. Our work is based on the idea that more aid will reach the poor the more people are watching aid.

    "Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking." - H.L. Mencken

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